I love to read. If you’re reading this, you probably love to read, too. I can get completely lost in a fictional world, but sooner or later my dogs insist I take them out. Or the cats get really obnoxious about that whole food-in-the-bowl-now thing. That’s when I reach for one of my trusty bookmarks.
Or, as one friend and avid reader calls them, “Quitter Strips.”
How could we read without them? Whether they are automatically inserted by our trusty e-readers, or exist on a physical plane, we rely on bookmarks to help us find our way back to the fictional worlds we left, as quickly and painlessly as possible.
I have a whole collection of bookmarks that I love and rely on, but sometimes I’m a little more improvisational about it. Each type of bookmark has its own special charm.
There are the formal bookmarks, like the little ribbons sewn into the binding of some journals and planners. There are fancy bookmarks you can pick up on the way to the checkout stand at your favorite bookstore and give to yourself or your reading friends. I have a small collection of handmade bookmarks, made by an artistic friend of mine.
A bit more downscale, and a whole lot cheaper, are promotional bookmarks. Businesses, organizations, and especially authors get these things printed by the thousands. They hand them out at book signing events, conferences, subscription drives, and as rewards for becoming a member.
Promotional bookmarks drift into my life in many ways. If I like them, I use them. I may keep them for years, or pass them along to other reading friends so they can share my enjoyment of whatever is promoted on the bookmark. Here are a few from the ACLU, the Dallas Winds, Jungle Red Writers (my favorite non-Weird blog), my friend who makes spectacular journals, and—hey! Look! That’s Ms. Eddy from my own Deep Ellum Pawn!
What’s at Hand
But sometimes I don’t secure a bookmark ahead of time. Sometimes I’m deep into a book and the dogs go nuts at the front door, or the timer dings on the stove, and I have to stop reading RIGHT NOW. That’s when I reach out and grab whatever bookmarklike object comes easily to hand.
Such objects may include a business card, clothing tags, fortune cookie fortunes, postcards, and sticky notes. Other people are more creative. One list includes Monopoly money, recipe cards, and a marriage license.
The Guardian reports that edible (or once-edible) items turn up in library books with alarming regularity. Items like slices of cheese, or strips of cooked or uncooked bacon. Really? I mean . . . REALLY? Under what circumstances would I willingly surrender cooked or uncooked bacon, just to mark my place in a book?
Are you a Marker? Or a Monster?
But there is one final choice every reader must make when deciding how to mark a book. Are you a reader who lovingly places a clean, non-destructive object (not bacon!) between the pages you long to return to?
Or are you the kind of monster who dog-ears your pages and cracks the spine of your otherwise pristine paperbacks? Do you treat your books like trash, to be kicked to the curb the moment you’re finished? Or are your books your friends, old and new, to be lovingly tabbed with one of your own collection of elegant bookmarks?
Either way, happy reading!
All photos by G. S. Norwood. All rights reserved, but if you reblog or re-post please include a credit and a link back to this post. Authors of books shown in the photos include David Sibley, Jenn McKinlay, Anette Dashofy, and Deborah Crombie. The pen holder is by Janet Rodriguez.